Synopses & Reviews
If you are a fly fisherman, it doesn't get any better than the salmon fly hatch on the Deschutes River, Oregon's legendary trout fishing venue. Cal Claxton-a small town lawyer who works to fish-has to pinch himself when his best friend and fishing guide, Philip Lone Deer, asks him to help guide an upcoming trip with a group of executives from a high tech firm in Portland. But the trip through the remote Deschutes River Canyon turns ugly when a member of the fishing party turns up murdered. Everyone in the party is a suspect, including Cal himself. Does the fact that the company's value is about to explode play into the crime? And what about the freight line running along the river. Does Philip's theory that the killer came and left on a train hold water? Cal better come up with answers because he's suspect number one...
"MATTERS OF DOUBT is a fast, fun read with a fascinating defendant and our hero, Cal Claxton, a small town lawyer who risks his life to solve a big time cold case." Phillip Margolin, New York Times
bestselling author of SLEIGHT OF HAND
on Matters of Doubt
"In Cal Claxton, Warren Easley has created a character you can root for -- a man who has experienced loss but still believes in a better future, a lawyer who vigorously pursues justice for the most vulnerable clients. MATTERS OF DOUBT proves that legal thrillers can indeed be thrilling." - Alafair Burke, author of IF YOU WERE HERE on Matters of Doubt
"Warren Easley renders his character Cal Claxton--a cook, a counter-puncher, and a fearless pursuer of justice--with warmth, deft restraint, and a pleasing tinge of noir. You will eagerly turn the pages to see if this wise ex-L.A. prosecutor can defend the vulnerable and solve the crime, to see if he is going to blow his budding romance, and, not the least, to discover the fate of his dog and best pal, Archie. I await the next Cal Claxton book with great anticipation."--Dean King, national best-selling author of Skeletons on the Zahara and The Feud on Matters of Doubt
“Easley makes Portland and the nearby wine country come alive in this smart mystery. A quicksilver page-turner with endearing, well-drawn characters you won't forget, Matters of Doubt is one to savor like a fine Oregon Pinot. Looking forward to more investigations with reluctant sleuth Cal Claxton.”--New York Times best selling author, Rosalind Noonan on Matters of Doubt
"In Matters of Doubt, Warren Easley tells a tale at once universal and strikingly Portland, a city that can feel like a small town with more than its fair share of dark secrets. With deft strokes, Easley paints a lush mural of the city and its denizens, one rich with photorealistic detail yet infused with an evocative impressionism—from the hope and hopelessness of life on the streets to the insular corridors of PDX power elite. In ex-LA prosecutor Cal Claxton, Easley gives us the quintessential Oregon transplant, an outsider seeking solace in a place suspicious of outsiders, a man whose wits, compassion, and love of great coffee help him find his way. Cal is a character I hope to see lots more of, from a writer with the chops to keep surprising us for years to come." —Bill Cameron, Spotted Owl Award-winning author of COUNTY LINE
“From the first knock on Cal Claxton's door to the final resolution, Warren Easley keeps us in the hunt for information leading to the killer or killers that are central in ""Matters of Doubt."" Along the way we are confronted with questions about the legal system, the plight of the homeless, especially among young people, the exploitation of women, the healthcare system and how the commercial media drives public opinion. All wrapped up in a very entertaining whodunit.” --Kent McCord, Actor and Retired Reserve Los Angeles School Police Department Lieutenant on Matters of Doubt
“A fun, suspenseful tale... unexpected plot twists... real, likeable characters, especially Cal and his loyal dog Archie... an entertaining winner!”--Don Eckhardt, author of The Hannibal e-Puzzle on Matters of Doubt
"The motives and murders in Easleys debut fit together like a set of nesting dolls, with each resolution leading to a new case. Cal comes across as an average guy whos just trying to lend a hand."--Kirkus Reviews on Matters of Doubt
"Easleys legal thriller debut, the first in a projected three-book series, is perfect for John Grisham fans. Although heavily draped in character stereotypes and social issues, his briskly paced and satisfyingly complex David vs. Goliath story will hold readers rapt from start to finish."--Library Journal on Matters of Doubt
"This is a strong debut for Easley, who, although he isnt a practicing lawyer himself, writes like he knows what hes talking about. Cal, carrying a heavy load of guilt over the circumstances surrounding his wifes death, is a well-designed, sympathetic character—definitely capable of carrying a series."— Booklist on Matters of Doubt
In Easley's uneven second Cal Claxton mystery (after 2013's Matters of Doubt), fishing guide Philip Lone Deer persuades attorney Cal to help lead a trip on Oregon's Deschutes River, though the participants turn out to include Alexis Bruckner, with whom Cal once had a brief fling, and her CEO husband, Hal. When Hal winds up with his throat slashed, suspicion falls on Cal (whose knife just happens to be missing). A thin subplot about Cal's grown daughter, Claire, who's on a dangerous do-gooding trip in Sudan, distracts. On the plus side, Cal--a dog devotee who loves a good bottle of pinot and is a mean hand at Scrabble--makes an engaging narrator. The Pacific Northwest setting provides good atmosphere, and Cal's memories of his dead wife lend some emotional depth. The novel's last paragraph promise of a new fishing adventure--and possibly new romance--will keep readers engaged in the series, despite this entry's bumps. Publishers Weekly
A fast-paced, tightly woven who-dunnit that kept me guessing to the end. Easley's vivid landscapes and well-drawn characters evoke comparisons to James Lee Burke, and Cal Claxton is as determined and resourceful as Burke's Dave Robicheaux. Robert Dugoni, NY Times best selling author of Murder One
Settle down for an evening's company with Cal Claxton. But first, take a glass of pinot noir from Oregon's Willamette Valley, where he has his law office, and a seat on a bench overlooking the Deschutes River, where he waves a fly rod for rainbow trout between cases. Failing that, any wine, any chair, anywhere. Dead Float starts with a man's throat cut ear to ear and Claxton's fishing knife found nearby, and gathers momentum like the midnight freight trains nearby. As a Deschutes aficionado myself, I'll never listen to those lonesome whistles again without thinking of this story, and thanking the stars it was only fiction. Keith McCafferty, author of The Royal Wulff Murders, The Gray Ghost Murders, and Dead Man's Fancy
Cal Claxton-a former LA prosecutor now practicing law in Oregon's wine country and who works to fish-has to pinch himself when his best friend Philip Lone Deer asks him to assist guiding a group of executives from a high tech firm in Portland. For a fly fisherman, it doesn't get any better than the salmon fly hatch on the Deschutes River, Oregon's legendary trout fishing venue. The execs, however, aren't coming just to fish. They're engaging in a conflict-resolution exercise where the future of the firm is to be determined. And Cal learns, too late, that the company's CEO is bringing his wife, the woman with whom Cal had a fling after their last Lone Deer-guided fishing trip. Cal soon broke it off, but.... The trip through the remote Deschutes Canyon turns ugly when CEO Hal is murdered during the first night's camp. Everyone in the party is a suspect, especially Cal. And his knife and vest have disappeared. Does the fact that the company's value is about to explode play into the crime? What about the freight line running along the river? Could a hired killer have come and gone from the scene of the crime by hopping trains? As two local cops come down heavily on Cal, can he come up with a water-tight solution as he did in the tricky Portland case Matters of Doubt?
About the Author
Award-winning author Warren C. Easley lives in Oregon where he writes fiction and tutors GED students. Easley is the author of the Cal Claxton Oregon Mysteries. For more, visit WarrenEasley.com.